What I would like you to understand here is just how relaxed I am and ‘loose’ the striking motion is, but yet I am still maintaining form and structure. A relaxed muscle is a fast one and you only have to look at top class boxers to see how fluid they are when they fight – look up some footage of Roy Jones in training and you will see just how fast he was and how devastating his combinations are.
Now Roy Jones was one of the greatest fighters around in his day and a lot can be learned just by watching his style – he was definitely a Ballistic Striker!!!!
When you try these strikes, make sure you work up slowly and surely – by that I mean look for precision and copy the motion I make in the clip. Stay relaxed, but alert and remember that these guys in the clips weigh around 280 pounds and are conditioned MMA fighters, your partner may not be able to take heavy strikes so always be careful.
To get the feel of the strike, place your fist on the point you are going to strike and simply push your partner – do this by extending the elbow from a bent position and allow your fist to penetrate into the body of your partner. This is how you strike in the simplest of forms and as you progress, you can work on different angles and directions, all of which affect your partner in different ways.
What I want you to takeaway from this clip is the relaxation of the body when performing the strike, the fluidity of movement and the fact that I am always trying to keep my weight centered and I feel that I am ‘sitting’ down on my legs to do so.
Notice in the first part how I am using one arm to make multiple strikes and I can tell you from personal experience that I have been grateful many times for the ‘free arm’ when having to deal with multiple attackers.
You can learn the same too – just work each arm separately and even get two partners working with you so you can learn to use the arms independently against more than one opponent. It is also important to get the ‘whip’ like effect and to not stop when you hit the target. Make sure you complete the motion.
Firstly in this clip you will see the all too typical start of a confrontation which is the famous ‘pushing contest’!
Now if you engage in this you are not gaining an advantage as each and every confrontation is a 50/50 gamble.
Because of the simple and unpredictable ‘cheap’ shot. It is that shot that will finish anyone as a chin is just a chin. It does not discriminate!
Look at how I diffuse the situation firstly and then how I deal with the attacker. Now I am working with some big guys here and if you are smaller, instead of pushing the hands down, you may have to push them up and this is where you have to abandon specific moves and just go with what is appropriate to you.
The one aspect I want you to pay particular attention to in this clip is movement and watch how I cut off the angles of the attacker as I move around. Also, look at how I deal with someone who is holding me and two others are approaching – I don’t want to focus on the non non immediate threat, only what may happen next and it is this anticipation that may save your life.
Remember it is your decision and not mine as it totally depends upon the situation, having said that, I give you many options on where to strike on the human body.
I would also like to stress that you cannot always try to be specific when striking points on the body because that in itself can cost you your own life potentially and I have personally seen people trying to be too ‘clever’ only to receive a beating.
The best approach to practice this is to work with your partner and practice precision until you can hit certain spots each and every time. Start with the major strike areas and then work to the more specific points. What I teach is easily incorporated into any art, not just mine provided you are prepared to work and practice.
I come from a ground fighting background having practiced both Combat Sambo and Judo to a very high standard and I am very comfortable on the ground, but I would never advise it in a street confrontation simply because you lose one dimension of the skills that you need and that is a compromised level of awareness.
I was teaching a seminar to a SWAT team in the USA and all of the guys were into MMA. One of the problems that they told me was difficult to handle was how to put handcuffs on a suspect while he was laying on the ground after two of them had wrestled him there.
These two guys were big and strong and it took them nearly five minutes to handcuff their ‘suspect’ who was another officer and couldn’t have weighed more that 170 pounds. I simply explained to them that while they were wrestling with him on the ground (two of them), the suspects friend was walking up behind them ready to pop both of the officers with a knife or gun.
In combat you absolutely have to be aware at all times and I know it sounds obvious, but I have seen many people winning a confrontation only to ‘not see’ the other guy coming at them from behind with a bottle or something more sinister.
You need to develop a wide range of vision and it is more than just peripheral. You have to imaging that you can literally ‘see behind you’. Before you say this is impossible and from a physical point it is, you must learn to develop your instinct or feeling.
There is no easy way to do this other than simply feeling aware of what is around you. How many people get out of bed in the night to go to the bathroom and stumble into a piece of furniture or stub their toes etc. Before you go to bed, take a ‘snapshot’ of the room and imaging that you have just planted a photograph in your head of the surroundings and then forget about it. Don’t dwell, just picture the room and go to sleep. When you have to wake up, you immediately access this photograph and then slowly and carefully walk around the room touching all of the objects that you have seen in the ‘photograph’. Your husband/wife/partner will think you are mental if they happen to wake, but this has a lot of use.
One of the best exercises you can do is to simply walk, but I am not talking about a simple stroll around the park although that is better than doing nothing!
Believe it or not, walking is not that easy to perform correctly – just take a look at people when you are next at the shopping mall or out and about. You will see people slouched and moving with no awareness or purpose.
If you have read my articles on functional strength and with reference to the squat, you will know about what I tem ‘form’ and I will go over it again. Stand with your back to a wall and with your heels and the back of your head touching the wall. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes facing forward.
The next exercises are a body raise and a leg raise. The body raise is performed like a sit up and you are going to lay flat on the floor and raise your body, using your stomach muscles to do so.
The leg raise is the reverse, lifting your legs from the flat lying position, over your head and touching the floor with your toes.
Both movements are difficult to perform correctly so I will explain!
Last time (read part 1 here) we looked at the push-up and I covered how to breathe in that short article, but I will repeat here – breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, matching the intensity of the exercise with the breathing. What I mean is that if you are performing slow push-ups for example, then your breathing will be slow, matching the motion. As the exercise becomes more intense and difficult, then your breathing will match that intensity. So if you are performing fast Ballistic push-ups, then you breath will match the speed and be coordinated,
The squat is an excellent exercise for many reasons and very functional. You must however, perform it correctly. When many people squat, they bend forward from the waist and what should be a leg exercise, becomes a back one!
To get the correct posture, stand with your back against a wall with your heels, and the back of your head touching the wall. Now notice how straight you are in your posture and this is the posture you will maintain through out the squat. Your legs should be shoulder width apart and your toes facing forward and not flared out.
I am all about functional strength and for me that means the strength that you can use and not just about a set of impressive looking muscles.
Let’s start with a simple exercise that everyone knows and that is the push up. The push up has a lot of applications in my Ballistic Combat System, but just because I use the term ‘Ballistic’ it doesn’t mean that your push-ups have to be performed in that way.
In fact, one of the best ways to start is to perform very slow deliberate push ups so that you can get used to the motion and also strengthen the tendons, joints and bones in the process.
If you can perform the motion using the knuckles, then you are killing two birds with one stone as you are strengthening as I described but also practicing the strike at the same time. Think of your fists as striking the ground and you will get to feel the weight of your body directly into the ground through your fists.